Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2014
Not on view
During Raf Simons’ tenure (2012–2015) as creative director at Christian Dior, he injected a new sensibility into the respectable couture house, bridging the venerable couture heritage with his own modernist aesthetic. In a way, he continued Monsieur Dior’s love for architecture, art and the modernism of the 1950s into collections that matched Simons' own times. For Simons, couture, though exquisite in quality, had to be realistic enough for the client to consider buying it.
For the fall/winter 2013–14 haute couture show, Simons presented his contemporary take on the different crafts of the Parisian couture ateliers. He used the skillsets and specialized knowledge of the ‘petites mains’ of haute couture to present a silhouette which blended dyes, textiles and techniques from across the globe. This silhouette is an epitome of Parisian bourgeois chic (its three quarter sleeves, the belted waist and the skirt’s length attest to that) as well as a hi-tech vision of a ‘global village’. The visually arresting mix of op-art motifs is combined with pleating techniques, which gives the whole a tribal outlook.